I take trains a lot, it's rare a week goes by where I don't have to be somewhere that takes a bit of distance for whatever reason, and since I don't drive, public transport basically owns my organs. I'd say soul, but that one's long since been taken. When you're on a train for a few hours, you get to know your fellow passengers, directly or not. In the (glorious, glorious) north, you get to them directly 'cause us northerners are so damn great and friendly and nosey and would REALLY, REALLY like to hear your whole life story. In the south, you have the be a bit more secretive in your spying, but us northerners can still find everything out. It's a bit like, oh, if you're in a shop in the north and somebody is looking at a pretentious pack of teabags, it's fair game as to advising the person on the brewing time of them. In the south, it'll get your burnt at the stake. Ever told you how much better the north is? ;)
'Cause of my northern nature, I hear all sorts of bits and are told all sorts of pieces. The most obvious genre is parenting toddlers, 'cause I usually travel during the week when the older kids are at school and parents with toddlers aren't usually as subtle at they think they are. I can't say I really take notes or owt, but the way parents talk to toddlers is exactly the same way that doctors and nurses speak to mental health patients and it's a really strange feeling.
I'll be sitting there and hear a particular demand, issued in a firm, deliberate tone, and it'll take me back to one admission or another, or every admission, ever. It's so bizarre, after my first few admissions the tone of a demand to an unknown toddler could make me feel guilty, but now it sort of grates on me. Not at all because I'm judging parenting techniques, but 'cause it makes me sick that a mental patient and a child are some how held on the same level. Coincidentally, after I was hospitalised, just for the night, a week ago, my friend Ce said about how some of the staff just shouted at me and acted as if I was a naughty child. Coming from a person who is extremely used to being around children (her mum fosters), I reck that sort of, yanno, ooft... I don't know, justifies my feelings?
It irritates the balls out of me, sitting here now and thinking, but being on a train and hearing a demand, 'STOP that!' or having someone else being told to look after the child, feeling it as myself, 'make sure she can't get near that!' or whatever, that makes me stop. It's the Supernanny tone. She's got all these parents using a certain tone, one that's also used by psychiatric nurses, and it's horrific. I've seen the tele programmes and I've seen it work on kids, and I never remember enough about my admissions to know whether it works on me then, but the fact that it's all tret the same (it arses me even when they tell me that at that moment I need to go into hospital because I'm not capable of taking care of myself and keeping myself safe), just seems so damn patronising. Even when I'm ill, my intelligence doesn't disappear and my mentality doesn't become that of a naughty child. I watch it and wonder how long, really, it is until psych wards have naughty steps.